Recent events accelerated the pathway to the cloud for many organisations to better enable working from home. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft 365 has emerged as a mainstay service, providing access to essential tools like Microsoft Teams. But after the dust settled on immediate necessities like video calling, we’ve seen that many businesses are keen to explore what else they have access to through their Microsoft subscription, and how else they can enhance and enrich working practices in the longer-term.
While not glamourous, high on the agenda is file storage as businesses seek to wrestle their data under control to improve access, protection, and economics. In this regard, OneDrive and SharePoint (which are both included in all Microsoft 365 plans) promise much compared to traditional capex-heavy, on-premises solutions. If the tech has already piqued your interest and you’re wondering about the next step, or you’re simply wanting to rethink your data storage strategy, keep reading!
In simple terms, OneDrive and SharePoint both deliver access to cloud-based storage for Microsoft customers. However, while similar, the two are quite different.
OneDrive is designed as an individual file management platform for both personal and professional use. Every Office365 or Microsoft365 license holder is entitled to 1TB of standard OneDrive storage as part of their subscription, with their OneDrive site linked to their specific account.
This allows individuals to share access to the files held within their OneDrive site with others, so that they can view and edit that file while it’s held in a single, centralised location, avoiding the need for duplication and the creation of multiple versions.
While SharePoint also delivers this, it is designed as a wider business collaboration tool. Unlike OneDrive, where each storage site is aligned to an individual, SharePoint is an organisation-wide tool that allows for easy access and file sharing across the entire business. Any user with access to a specific SharePoint site can add new files, edit existing versions, or share them with others. Specific SharePoint sites can be created and allocated however you choose.
With your key files and data accessible through the cloud, there’s no longer a need to maintain on-premises hardware, something which is a key consideration for those looking to reassess the need for physical office locations as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
Not only are you better utilising the Microsoft platforms already available to you, you’re eliminating the costs of refreshing, managing, and maintaining your existing physical infrastructure, while also freeing up scarce IT resource to look at new projects.
Remote working was already on the agenda before the outbreak of COVID19, and an enforced period of home working has only increased the desire to adopt these practices in the long term.
A work from anywhere approach is seen as the future of work, and that means ensuring your people can securely access everything they need to do their best work.
The beauty of OneDrive and SharePoint is that they deliver simple and efficient access to files from any device. With your data in the cloud, your users need only sign in via a web browser to gain access to what they need, with device native, browser-based Microsoft applications available for use.
This means that your people can easily access important files to make amends or share with colleagues from anywhere, without the need for facilitated access via remote desktops or VPNs.
Additionally, the easy file sharing made possible through both OneDrive and SharePoint means that your team can work on the same document in real time, removing the need to download specific files to create multiple copies spread across several locations.
With your files safely stored in a central, cloud-based location, your IT team can easily rollout the latest security features available through Office and Microsoft 365.
You can control access to not just specific SharePoint sites, but individual files themselves, with greater visibility over who is accessing individual documents, and how they are using them.
The ability to work on documents together in real-time eliminates the risk of duplication, avoiding unwanted data sprawl and unauthorised copies of confidential information.
What’s more, you can enable your team to access what they need from any device without compromising on security. Should that device be lost, damaged, or stolen, you can immediately revoke any access and remove versions of your documents stored locally.
As a long-standing Microsoft partner, our expert team has the knowledge and experience to help you get more from the world-class Microsoft portfolio. Not just OneDrive and SharePoint, but a whole host of additional solutions and platforms such as Microsoft Teams, the Office productivity suite, and the advanced security features available through Enterprise Mobility + Security.
It’s all part of creating the modern workplace, one that enables your team to work remotely by empowering them to do their best from anywhere.
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